Sunday, December 10, 2017

How to determine Imperialism

First, an often a resource, Wikipedia:
The word imperialism originated from the Latin word imperium, which means supreme power. It first became common with its current sense in Great Britain, during the 1870's and was used with a negative connotation.
When did it begin, “The Age of Imperialism”?
A time period beginning around 1760, saw (generally European) industrializing nations, engaging in the process of colonizing, influencing, and annexing other parts of the world in order to gain political power. Although imperialist practices have existed for thousands of years, the term "Age of Imperialism" generally refers
to the activities of European powers from the early 18th century through to the middle of the 20th century.
What is American Imperialism?

The economic, military and cultural philosophy which states that the United States either directly or indirectly affects and controls other countries or their policies.
Can American Imperialism end, be curtailed? 

In The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, Alfred W. McCoy write: 
The demise of the United States as the global superpower could come far more quickly than anyone imagines.  If Washington is dreaming of 2040 or 2050 as the end of the American Century, a more realistic assessment of domestic and global trends suggests that in 2025, just 15 years from now, it could all be over except for the shouting.
 Decline and Fall of the American Empire

Saturday, December 9, 2017

AFFLUENZA - Part 1

Previously watched the video(s) but recently checked-out the 1st edition (2001) from the library; this book is fascinating as a history of how many in our nation are ill from consumption, materialism and by any similar words.

What is it, this illness, from Wikipedia:
…"a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more". The term "affluenza" has also been used to refer to an inability to understand the consequences of one's actions because of financial privilege.

And the book,

…a 2001 anti-consumerist book by John de Graaf, environmental scientist David Wann, and economist Thomas H. Naylor. Viewing consumerism (with its accompanying overwork and dissatisfaction) as a deliberately spread disease, the book consists of three parts—symptoms, origins, and treatment.


The irony of affluenza, the illness, is that—as T.S. Elliot put it:   "We are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men". 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Mother of All, The Black Swan

A “Black Swan” event might be followed by the simple expression, “I never saw it coming.” 
What is it, Black Swan (event)?  From Wikipedia:
The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.
This is far bigger the post-game analysis of the less-than-capable Monday Morning Quarterback; it is a crisis of huge proportions, often irrecoverable, such as: 
  1. Climatic Environmental 
  2. Thermonuclear 
  3. Pandemic
  4. International, global economic...
  5. Astronomical

As to the economic kind, the following from Investopedia: 
The idea of a black swan event was pioneered by the financial professional turned writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb after the results of the 2008 financial crisis. Taleb argued that black swan events are impossible to predict yet have catastrophic ramifications. Therefore, it is important for people to always assume a black swan event is a possibility, whatever it may be, and to plan accordingly.
 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blackswan.asp#ixzz50PTcSn5b 

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Enemy Within

What’s does it mean, “The Enemy Within”?

Could it mean our self, our thoughts and actions; some kind of deep, personal counter agency, an anti-, alter and adverse ego? 

In the spiritual, is the enemy the flesh as Paul described, “the war within”; the cause of internal conflict, struggle?

Beyond our self, is “the enemy within” someone or -body among our closest ties that works intentionally or not to undermine us, even defame us as something or someone we're not?   Can a so-called friend or family tie be our worst enemy? 

A film by the same name is about a plot at the highest ranks, the presidency; a military coup.  Certainly, coups happen but here, in the United States?   It can't happen here, can it? 

In The Dictator’s Handbook, Why Bad Behavior is almost always Good Politics, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith assert:  

Leaders do whatever keeps them in power.  

If the case, how far will they go?  Is our “best interest” they’re interest or is our welfare worth anything?   


Friday, December 1, 2017

Lost and perhaps "the dumbest" Generation

Is this “the dumbest generation”? 

From a 2008 book by a similar title, the arrival and adoption of social media is consuming the lives of the young folks, in particular.  Sure, we all are part of this electronic culture, but for the young(-er), the interest and intensity of peer pressure puts socializing as much a life’s ambition, academics and 
mentoring a distant second. 

What is to come of kids that have no daily boundaries on their attention to “the screen”, ambitions of acceptance of and attention to self, gone awry?   

I admit that not having a phone is more than inconvenient but here, in this i-phonic phenomenon, is a hardcore “having; one that might just well be a vital organ; heart, mind and soul. As the author describes in the introduction:  “The autonomy has a cost: the more they attend to themselves, they less they remember about the past (history) and envision a future. “

More than ironic is that the age of information is lost, the young folks “camped in the desert, passing stories, pictures, tunes and text…living off the thrill of peer attention.” 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

To End an Eagle – In the Days of Daddy-Dumb

A “heroes' journey”, the story begins with a crisis, the loss of lives, and ends as life is celebrated, hereafter., when darkness is no more.   

Eli the eagle is the protagonist; Vile the vulture, the antagonist.  Other characters include a host of birds as well as a few ground creatures.   Who is good, light, and who is not?   Who helps Eli along this journey, intentional or not? 

Eli embarks on this journey without knowing where he is going or will end up.  Passing from the natural to the unnatural, the eagle descends into an underworld of darkness and despair—confronted by/with things never encountered before let alone imagined. The underworld is owned by the worst of the worse; the human species that historically have provided little benefit to eagles and the natural in general. 


What becomes of Eli is indeed a resurrection, a new life in spite of many open and unending questions from the previous….

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Decline of the West

Much is written and broadcast about this, but again I turn to Malcolm Muggeridge.  


Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct.

Losing, Loss and Lost (Storms and Mega-Storms)

These words strike fear in the most competitive, hard driven, of the herd.  Whether winning or the undying determination to, win, the notion of not—winning—is not an option.  

A man of many years came to the realization late in life that losing, loss and lost, while undesired, is unavoidable, inescapable.   How else do we learn but through loss, the losing of something special, irrecoverable yet forever there? 

Defeat is a death is some degree; an experience to assess what happened if not why (it happened)—except that any journey is marked by challenges, conquerable or not, with the outcome or end, uncertain, unclear.   

As to the worry and wonder of why…, the reason, that too is uncertain, unclear.  That “man of many years”, Malcolm Muggeridge, said:  
Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.” 
Malcolm Muggeridge

What is "the message"?  

Flesh & Blood

The Obsolete Man

In the dated, Draconian, series from "The Twilight Zone" (1960's) comes one called, "The Obsolete Man"; a story of one--among others--fleshed-out of the system for, well, his flesh & blood.  Described by his judge as, "an anachronism", the central figure is sentenced to extermination.   


The crime:  possessing books; yes, he works at a library. 
This is Mr. Romney Wordsworth, in his last forty-eight hours on Earth. He's a citizen of the State but will soon have to be eliminated, because he's built out of flesh and because he has a mind. Mr. Romney Wordsworth, who will draw his last breaths in The Twilight Zone.
In the closing words of this series: 
Any state, entity, or ideology becomes obsolete when it stockpiles the wrong weapons: when it captures territories, but not minds; when it enslaves millions, but convinces nobody. When it is naked, yet puts on armor and calls it faith, while in the Eyes of God it has no faith at all.
Any state, any entity, any ideology which fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of Man...that state is obsolete. 

Defiance

"Defiance" is a word the elicits sacrifice, suffering. Resistance to authority, defiance is more than taking the lessor road--it is taking the dense, even unexplored, ground that few if any think about, let alone venture.  

Yet history has its rebels, renegades and revolutionaries; it has those that simply say, "No!", accepting come what may even if the that to come was never considered before, sacrifice and suffering.   

What makes the defiant?  Is defiance ever justified, a good thing? 

The film, "DEFIANCE", portrays a people, a partisan, eking out an existence in the dense forest, their lives radically changed without any real sense of what lies ahead except, in the worst of possibilities, their extermination.  Traditionally a peaceful lot, they take up arms to defend what little remains, some semblance of existence, while waiting for the war to end, peace to come.  Chaos around and within their ranks, the community is under constant threat, the elements intense, indomitable.  

How far will someone go before giving-up is often the unclear until there, in the throes.... Conditioning and coping are cousins, you know. 








Monday, November 27, 2017

VW Vagabond

Why “VW Vagabond”; what is the association, the application?

“VW” is universal:
          
  • Volkswagen has sold more vans-trucks than any other…in the world
  • Classics like the Bug and Bus are iconic
  • Camper conversions are about as condensed-compact as any


“Vagabond” is recently inspired by the news source, “The Last Vagabond” and reading the book,




Nomadland; Surviving America in the 21st Century, by Jessica Bruder; these and other unmentioned influences are the inspiration for this title, the vagabond

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Battlefield America: The War On The American People (John W. Whitehead)

Recently purchased, this book is a collection of documented abuse, statecraft; it a an expose on the developing police state.

Yes, "it can happen here" (see Lewis Sinclair, It Can't Happen Here); the upstaging of a supposed democracy with more a fascist government that exercises the heavy hand and long arm from top to bottom, and more.

So far, and for all that remains, the content is eye-opening.  Here is a link to interview with the author.



The more I think about it, the more I realize that James Madison was right when he said:


No Nation Can Preserve Its Freedom in the Midst of Continual Warfare. 


Violence as a cultural condition is fostered by our violence extended worldwide.  When and how  it will end is a real crisis for which recovery and correction is more than possible.   

Friday, November 24, 2017

CHILDREN

Grateful that after many passing holiday seasons, my life is presently part of your's....

Being young as you are, many experiences await.  

My desire is that you develop as good people that are willing and able to love, to sacrifice and to support the things that matter most.  How you treat these "matter most" things is often a reflection of how you feel about you; thus, if you treat them with care, you treat yourself in kind.   
The years to come are, I strongly believe, going to be a great testing of integrity, strength.  

From my favorite book since a child, The Count of Monte Cristo:  

Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. 

Life is a storm, my friend